Saturday, February 24, 2007

M.I.A.

I don't know if anyone noticed but I have been missing in action for the last few days. Just after my last post my laptop cord and adapter gave up the ghost and I haven't had access to the internet since. I am at mum's now and thought I'd sneakily whip up a quick update post.

I was pleased with this weeks weigh in- I have been madly tracking on calorie king all week, have been to Contours three times and have walked a decent distance on three separate occasions this week. Feelin' pretty darn good.

I'm back down to 95.6kgs this week which is a loss of 600g and my body fat percentage stayed around the same again. So, if I keep doing what I am doing, the scales will keep moving down, my clothes will start feeling looser and I will become fitter very soon! Yay!

That's all for now- we'll be getting a new laptop cord very soon and I'll be able to come over and comment on all your blogs again. I tell you- I'm such a blogger geek now that I really feel like I'm out of the loop not having access to the net.

Love and kisses,

Ash
xox

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The winner's journey...


I'm just watching The Biggest Loser and have been totally inspired by Damian. This boy is over 200 kilograms and just doesn't give up!

During his one on one training session with blue team trainer Shannon, Damian ran to the point where he thought he couldn't go any longer and fell to the ground. All it took was Shannon saying "This is the first time I have been disappointed in you" for Damian to spring back up to push his hefty tired body for another 6 laps of the gym!

The difference between a sucessful person and a failure is that never give up attitude. This is the same with the life-long journey to a healthy body, mind and spirit. Giving up is not an option if you REALLY want it. Although, luckily, there is no such thing as failure on the road to health and fitness as there is always another day. There will always be good days and bad days however it is a journey with many twists and turns some expected and some unexpected, unwelcome and unplanned for. The awesome thing about it is that we can always draw a line in the metaphorical sand and start afresh.

Do NOT wait until tomorrow! Start NOW... put down the chocolate bar, chips and coke and take yourself out for a walk. Or if you are sitting at your desk at work do some butt squeezes and tummy sucky-inny things.

Let me tell you, it feels good, GREAT, FANTASTIC to achieve your goals and it feels especially special to be able to put on that pair of pants that didn't fit a month ago. But the most satisfying feeling is to look at yourself in the mirror with total self respect, knowing for sure that you are doing the best for that amazing body of yours.

Respect yourself.

Hugs!

Ash
xox

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's a mad mad mad mad weekend...

Some weekends are just not worth writing about... but not this one! I had such a full weekend that I will need to use headings just to organise my thoughts. So here goes...

Molly's hearing test.

We took the cute one to have her little ears tested on Friday. Drs recommend that babies who have spent more than 48 hours in the special care unit have their hearing checked. She passed with flying colours! The tester said that she has very sensitive hearing so all good there!
Linda's 40th.
The birthday girl receiving her gorgeous Tiffany & Co necklace! (pic taken by Ails)

Thanks to Linda for putting on such a great do! Apparently we made an impression on the family with our killer dance moves by the pool. Molly and I turned up around 10:15 and the party was well and truely under way. It was a great feeling walking into a garage full of strangers with the music pumping and the lights throwing rainbows onto the streamers hanging off the cloud of balloons bobbing around the room. I knew I was in for a good night!
Molly stayed for about 15 minutes, just long enough to say hello to all the blogger chicks and then I walked her back to our house, gave her her last feed for the night and put her in bed before returning to the party. (It's good having a bub who sleeps all night!!)

The girls and I danced our shrinking butts off in Linda's back courtyard playing a game of "copy the dance move". We worked up quite a sweat shakin' our groove thang on such a balmy night. Several party goers popped out with their cameras to capture a snap of we veluptuous vixens cutting it up.

Before we knew it, it was 3am and most of the guests were gone. So it was just family and bloggers! Haha! Can't keep a good blogger down! Linda received 2 beautiful Tiffany pieces- a combined pressie from the family... lucky girl! You deserve it Linda, you are one in a million! I hope you had as much fun as I did!

I started to fade by 3am so Beckie and I drove the 1 minute trip around the corner to my place. It was my pleasure to host Beckie but was quite embarrassed to put her on a bed made out of couch cushions and an empty doona cover! She said she slept fine and hopefully she's not fibbing! *lol* Becks, I loved having you stay with me and seeing you with Molly and Felix on Sunday showed me what a natural and beautiful mother you are. I look forward to getting to know you better.


(Photos from Phil)

Breakfast with Beckie and Kate.

Sunday morning we dragged our tired bodies out of bed, got showered and dressed and headed to The North Point Cafe at the end of North Road to meet Kate and Felix for breakky. We all ordered the big breakfast but I counted my points and still fell comfortably within. It was a lovely relaxed morning spent chatting, laughing and people watching. There were lots of tanned bodies cycling past and a few lobster like beach goers sizzling as they went by. Thanks for a nice morning girlies! We MUST do it again!

(Pic from Kate)

Weigh in, food and Contours.
Now for the boring part of the weekend- weigh in. I was back up to 96.2 again this morning however my body fat stayed the same so feeling ok about it. My food has been pretty clean this week but have just signed up to calorie king to make sure I am getting the tracking right. I had my first visit to Contours on Saturday and boy did I work up a sweat! It is the first time since falling pregnant that I have worked out to my capacity and it fel bloody unreal!

That's enough from me tonight! Going to have an early one as I haven't recovered from my big night on Saturday!

Ash
xox

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fitness... for women on the go!



I have been thinking about what exercise program I want to do now that I have been given the Doctor's all clear to work out. I knew I couldn't go back to Fernwood as it just doesn't suit my lifestyle now. Then I thought about joining the gym near me attached to the local pool but that is big and impersonal and I like a smaller more intimate environment. While wandering around Blackburn on my walk yesterday I stumbled across Contours and thought "BINGO!" just what I'm looking for- a small club, not too expensive at $13.50 per week and most importantly VERY close to John's parent's place which means that I can drop M off while I pop in for a quick workout a few times a week.

You probably all know how these kind of places work but for those of you who don't, it is a circuit which is always running from the time the place opens until closing time. It is made up of both cardiovascular and resistance stations to provide a whole body workout and the aim is to go in whenever you feel like it and enter the circuit at any station after warming up. It takes 36 minutes including including warm up, 2 laps of the circuit and stretching. I feel this will be perfect for me as I can go at any time that is convenient rather than having to plan around the classes I like. I can also walk to and from John's folks place so I can get a bit more exercise in if I have time.

Contours also has a very sensible looking eating plan focussing on balance and energy in vs energy out. It is very flexible and basically helps you to eat in a more structured and purposeful way for building muscle and losing fat. I'm going to try it and add a few hundred calories for breastfeeding.

Edit: For those who were wondering, Contours is a lot like Curves.

I haven't been going particularly well with this week's bloggest loser task... actually I haven't cleaned anything since Monday! But I'm planning to have tomorrow morning at home so I'll try to get some more stuff done then. I have been exercising every day carrying over last week's task- trying to solidify that new good habit!

I am SO excited about starting my course... I even bought a new 3 colour pen- pink, purple and blue!! (even though I'll probably be typing mostly, and I have exactly one million pens already*lol*). Thanks for the offer of help Brookie, I am 100% sure I'll need it! I have no idea what I'm getting myself into but I LOVE that feeling- I get so excited about facing the unknown.. I think that's why I was able to be so positive and excited about labour and birth.

On a much more important note how good was the twist on The Biggest Loser tonight!? Who else wishes they'd swapped Courtney for another one of those girls?! I'm so bitchy but I can't stand that boy! I feel like punching him... is that wrong?? *lol*

Molly has a hearing test tomorrow- I'll take a photo of her wearing the cute headphones... stay tuned!

Ash

xox

Monday, February 12, 2007

Following my dreams...

I have just enrolled in a correspondence "Health and Fitness Magazine Writing" course delivered by the Australian College of Journalism (Through Thomson Education Direct). I am so nervous! It's really funny as I have been studying for the last four years and received a degree with honours. Writing assignments and sitting exams became like second nature to me, however journalism is an entirely different type of course to the Bachelor of Social Work I just completed.

My study pack should arrive in the next 5-10 days and I can get started any time I like. I have 18 months to complete the course although I will probably finish it sooner as I have plenty of time to study. I will need to work 6 hours a week to complete it in 6 months or 2.5 per week to finish in 18. I'll probably fall somewhere in the middle. I am glad I will need to be scheduled again as I struggle not having any routine. I am more organised when I am busier as I make appointments with myself to do things like cleaning and exercise. When I have no schedule I put things off and end up not doing them... like my exercise (or lack thereof...) this weekend. I am SO excited to have an excuse to buy stationary again as I was beginning to grieve the loss the opportunity to use cute pens, highlighters and folders! Haha! LOVE STATIONARY!!

I am looking forward to finding out this weeks task on The Bloggest Loser!

Edit:
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Task is to spring clean the house this week...

Tasks completed today:
1) Vacuumed all carpets
2) Mopped kitchen and bathroom floors
3) Cleaned kitchen benches, wiped down cupboards, dishwasher, fridge
4) Cleaned toilet and bathroom vanity
5) Did a load of washing

I am pretty happy with that effort! Things to do this week- clean oven and griller, clean out fridge, wash the big living room windows, give anything and everything we don't need to the op-shop.

Great challenge Beckie!

Need a good kick in the pants to get me going again this week. I am meeting Kate tomorrow morning for a walk around the shops. It's going to be hot tomorrow so a shop walk sounds just about right.

Ooh, I forgot I haven't mentioned the lovely mini blogger meet I went to on Saturday night. It was lovely sharing a meal at The Stokehouse in St Kilda with Linda, Phil, Brookie and the lovely Bee and Amanda. I have some photos but can't be bothered uploading them now.

I am very tired and if I don't get me some sleep it will be even harder to exercise tomorrow! Hope everyone had a fab weekend!

Ash
xox

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday morning...

Weigh in day!

Had a great week over all with my food and walked the 3 days I said I would. I am going to try to walk every day for this next week. Ate a little bit of stuff I shouldn't last night including a bowl of ice cream, which I really really wanted so I don't feel too bad about, and a couple of snacky things (teeny-weeny tart things... petit fours, is that what they're called??) at the meeting last night, which I didn't really want at all and just ate because they were there. I also ate some chocolate a few nights ago which I didn't even enjoy and ended up throwing the box out.

Over all though, I am very happy with how I went and once again was excited to jump on the scales this morning.

Enough with the yabbering, here's my results for the week.

Last week: 96.2kg
This week: 95.9kg
Total kgs lost: .3kg

Last weeks body fat: 43%
This weeks body fat: 42.2%
Total body fat lost: .8% (must be from all that pram pushing and baby carrying!)

Not too bad! Slow and steady wins the race!

Ash
xox

Friday, February 09, 2007

Walkies!

Molly and I went for another lovely walk today. This time we headed down to St Kilda to soak up the sea breeze. What a beautiful day it was- perfect for walking, 26C degrees with a light breeze. Mmm the only thing wrong with the afternoon was that it wasn't long enough! I'd still be there now if I didn't have to come home for a planning meeting for our housemate (he has a disability and we get together with all of his support people once a month to plan with him around issues in his life like work etc.).

I went to the Dr for my 6 week post birth checkup today. She examined me and was very impressed by how well I have healed. I have been given the all clear to do whatever evercise I feel like as long as I take it slowly. Yay!

I have to go now but will be back with a pic of my very lazy excuse for a salad (take-away thai beef salad.. hey- I didn't say I'd make ALL of the 7 salads!!)

Ash
xox



Edit: Here's the yummy thai beef salad... And my beautiful baby girl!




Thursday, February 08, 2007

Salads 4 and 5! Yummo!!

Salad 4
Chicken, broccoli and couscous
Marinated the chicken in Hoisin sauce prior to cooking... doesn't look as nice as the other salads but it was yummy!


Salad 5
Good old tabbouli salad
Served this one with teriaki chicken skewers... hmm going to have to eat some other meat at some point!

The Bloggest Loser task of the week to get up early and exercise is going well. Yesterday I woke Molly at 6am, fed her, dressed us both and we were out the door by 7 for an hour long walk. I forgot what it felt like to be outside as the sun is rising. I love it. The crispness of the air as it gently blows across the little beads of sweat on my nose and cheeks is so revitalising. I worked myself as hard as I could handle, powering up hills pushing my little girl and feeling fitter than I thought I would.

I couldn't help but think what I good habit I am going to instill in Molly. By the time she is old enough to realise what is going on going for walks will just be a part of life. I would like walking and exercise to become so unremarkable and routine that it would feel weird for us NOT to do it- not the other way around.

This morning was a little bit trickier as Molly uncharacteristically woke at 4:30 instead of 6. I had so much trouble deciding whether to take my butt out for an early early early morning walk and be tired for the rest of the day (no time for a nanna nap today) or schedule in a walk in the afternoon. We did the latter and boy am I glad I got the extra sleep as I had a rather busy day. Our walk this afternoon was great. I stripped down to my singlet (let all the lumps and bumps be seen) as the sun was shining and I didn't really care who saw me. I had to pick John up from work at 5:30 so an hour and a half before that I drove to the carpark in the school he works at, loaded Molly into the pram and took off on an hour long walk winding our way around unfamilliar streets, looking at all of the different houses and gardens... You certainly miss a lot when you drive everywhere! It was glorious to spend time in the fresh air once again!

Thinking about what I'd like "normal" to be like for Molly I remembered something I posted on the Healthy Body Club forum the other day in response to a post about crash dieting and starvation. I thought I'd post it here too for your entertainment!

"I have tried so many different diets over the years and each one ended with me feeling miserable, tired, hungry and putting on all the weight I managed to lose plus some more once the "diet" was over. When I was on a diet all I could think about was the end, when I finally got to eat like a normal person again.My problem was that many of the people around me did not have "normal" eating habits- well not how "normal" should be anyway. It was normal for all of my primary school buddies to feast on chips and chocolate at recess and drink poppers of fruit drink laden with simple sugars.

We need to redefine "normal" for the sake of the next generation.

Also, I feel that we lovely ladies don't celebrate the awesomeness (is that a word??!) of womanhood nearly as much as we should. If we stood back once in a while and examined how clever our bodies are I feel we would wind up respecting ourselves a lot more. I have just had a baby and am still dumbfounded at what an amazing thing my body has done! I feel strong, proud, womanly and POWERFUL!

Respect for ones self does not begin with a fancy pill, potion or diet shake- it wont even come from losing weight the slow and steady healthy way. True self respect must come from a much deeper place. It's not always easy to find this place, but with hard work and perseverance it is truly breathtaking!

Hope you are all feeling womanly today.... unless you are a bloke, I which case I hope you're feeling manly *lol*!!!

Ash
xox

PS. Have decided today that I do not know nearly enough of you so would like to set myself a goal of meeting 20 new bloggers in 2007. Drop me a line if you're in Melb and would like to meet! I'll also be in Adelaide in May.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Bloggest Loser

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This week's task on Beckie's "The Bloggest Loser" is to get up an hour earlier and do some exercise. I have committed to do this 11 week thingy (at Beckie's suggestion we're not using the word challenge as people often fizzle out after 2 weeks of a "challenge") following the losers in the house, so I have to try to work out a way to get myself (and Molly) out of the house for a walk to be back by 8am. This is going to mean leaving at 7. Molly usually wants a feed at around 6 or 6:30 but this week I am going to wake her at 6 to feed for 30 mins, leaving plenty of time for me to jump into my trackies and shoes, dress her, eat a banana or something and head out. I am going to have to get my (soon to be) little butt to bed earlier and not stay up too late talking on Beckie's Gabbly Chat.


I think morning walks are a great habit to get into as it means the day has begun. The rest of the morning will be productive as I wont be blobbing around in my pjs at midday! I will come home, shower, get W (our housemate) ready for his day, have brekkie with my hubby, do any dishes, vacuuming, washing that needs doing and by the time Dr. Phil and Oprah come on I wont feel guilty for sitting doing nothing while I watch ithem. I am really looking forward to this! It will help me be more organised and on top of things.


During my 12 week challenge at the beginning of last year I was getting up at 5:30-6am nearly every day to toddle off to the gym for either a personal training session, hard weights, cardio or a class. I loved the feeling of my face prickling with sweat and heat as I stepped into the cool air of morning after a spin class or body attack. My gym membership will come off suspension in a month or so and I have to decide what to do. I think Fernwood is just too expensive for what it offers a person like me. I loved it last year as I needed that kind of gym. But this year I have a bubby and a tender post baby body that needs to ease into exercise and therefore the option of swimming would be ideal. My local pool/gym is less expensive, has childcare and offers more than Fernwood. So I think in the long run it would be cheaper to cancel Fernwood and go there. I probably wont join up straight away as I would like to focus on walking and a bit of at home toning work. I might even just get a swimming membership or buy 10 passes at a time or something... we'll see!

Melbourne Blogger Picnic
I have been wanting to organinse a meet for a while now and I figure since the weather is pretty nice most of the time at the moment it may as well be SOON! I would love to meet somewhere nice like the Melbourne Botanical Gardens where we can all sit on blankets, eat yummy food and yak. We could even go for a walk around the tan before lunch to work up an appetite!

I'm keen to know who would be in! When's good for people?? Saturday or Sunday?? Early March sound good? Please leave me a comment and let me know!

Well, if I don't go now it's going to be really hard to get up in the morning for my walk... best be orrrf!

Enjoy the early morning exercise challengers!! (...erm, I mean task-ers!!)

Ash
xox

Salads 2 and 3 and the Bloggest Loser...

I am LOVING this 7 salads in 7 days challenge! It is really making me think creatively!!! Last night we made a yummy salad with chickpeas, avocado, cherry tomatos, lettuce, low fat cheese and baby spinach. Tonight I marinated some chicken in tomato and basil pesto, pan fried it then added it to some cooked pasta, avocado, sundried tomatos, rocket and baby spinach and it was by far the yummiest yet!

Salad 1.


Salad 2.

Beckie has started "The Bloggest Loser". I'll be back to talk more about it later!

Ash

xox




Sunday, February 04, 2007

7 salads in 7 days...

This is my new challenge for this week. I am going to make a different delicious and healthy salad each night and post a picture here- just for a bit of variety. I already started tonight by making my own version of the salad Kate mentioned on her blog.I'm sure it is very different to the one you had Kate but it sure was delicious!

A yummy spicy Thai chicken salad made with lean chicken mince, red onion, coriander, bean shoots, lime, lemon, chilli, ginger and soy sauce, served on a bed of cos lettuce with a tomato cut into wedges. YUM!! I am definately making this one again some time!!

I had a fab time last night at Brooke's get together. Linda, Phil, Ails, Jadey, Sassy, Brooke and I got together to relax and spend some quality time together. I took Molly along to meet all her pretend aunties and she was a perfect angel! The girls all indulged in Jelly shots and pizza and watched chick flick DVDs.. ahhh.. heaven! I really enjoyed finally meeting Sassy. We had been planning to meet a little while ago (pre Molly) but never managed to get our butts into gear. We had a lot in common and chatted away like monkeys in trees.. hehe.. I like that saying! See Brooke's (in my sidebar) post for a more detailed description and some photos.


I have stolen this pic from Brooke's site as I think it is BEAUTIFUL! Isn't Brooke a talented little shutterbug? I haven't liked the way I have looked in many photos recently but I feel that this one really shows the joy I have in motherhood. My eyes are genuinely happy. That is really how I feel right now. I adore my girl and my life. I am happy with my body for the first time ever. It's like I have accepted it with all its flaws because I was able to watch it perform one of the greatest tasks ever- making another human being!! I am totally blown away by the power of the female body. What an amazing, spiritual thing it is to be a woman!
I am really excited to be feeling so good. John and I got out for another walk yesterday and I am feeling very ready to get back into proper exercise. I don't want to be silly and go too hard too soon but I am just really looking forward to feeling fit again. I think I will to couch to 5k as soon as I feel up to running. There is a Healthy Body Club booty camp in March which I plan to do and am VERY excited about!


Molly is getting such a strong little neck now and smiling all the time. I can't believe how fast she's growing and becoming more aware of what is going on around her! Here are some more cute photos of her doing her exercises during tummy time this morning.
I have never known love like this!
That will do from me tonight... I am sleepy!
Ash
xox






Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wow.... Huh??

WOW...

As many of you would know, Saturday is my weigh-in day. Now, I was particularly keen to jump on the scales this morning as I have had such an awesome week filling my body up with sensible portions of fresh and healthy food- hitting 32 points or just below each day. I feel absolutely fantastic! I have been sleeping very well and did my 1st intentional exercise since having Molly yesterday with Kate (a big walk to the "big shops"... had a fantastic time Kate!). I have consumed at least 2 litres of water every day and am really proud of what we've done. I have not had one "treat" thus proving to myself that I don't need to have a little bit of something off the plan every day... only sometimes! I have been the goddess of the Weight Watchers world!! The QUEEN!! I ROCK!!

HUH??...

Now here's where the "huh??" comes in. I was so excited to feed Molly, go to the toilet, strip off (hey... my undies are heavy!!) and jump on the scales, expecting to see a big loss after the killer week I have just had. 96.2kgs... 96.2kgs!! WHAT?? Thats a GAIN of 700g!! Undoing the 600g I lost last week plus another 100!! Would someone please tell me what the heck is going on?? I wish I had've taken notice of the body fat percentage as it may explain something. I have not done any resistance apart from lifting Molly and pushing the pram so I doubt it would be muscle... I'm stumped!

Kate mentioned in her blog about our lovely day together yesterday. I arrived at her house at 9:30 and we chatted till 10:30 when we loaded up the prams and headed out for a walk. It was such a gorgeous sunny day with a cool breeze- perfect for walking. We stopped for a drink and some fruit at the 1/2 way point and grabbed a yummy sushi lunch 3/4s of the way home. I got a bit sunburnt- I have spent the majority of the last few months indoors.. didn't really feel like baring my swolen pregnant self at the beach this summer!!

Our lunch was delish! I am completely addicted to california rolls. It's not like I never ate them before this week but I have rediscovered those tasty little fellas on this fresh food challenge. Kate and I spent the rest of the afternoon half watching Scrubs (gotta get me some of those DVDs!) while we chatted and looked at her before pics. That girl has come a LONG way my friends! Nag her to find her scanner so she can post the pics!!

Now, of the three things I said I was going to do this week I have only done one... hmm disciplined huh?? I did manage to get my butt into gear enough to make up my own muesli which is delish! I thrw together some rolled oats, sultanas, peanuts, coconut, almonds, dried pawpaw and pineapple, prunes, dried apricots and lsa. It was sooo yummy! I grated a big green apple onto it and it was magic!

I did not make bread or peanut butter although I have all the ingredients there ready to go so I WILL do them over the next couple of days.. Phil, I might take you up on the breadmaker offer! *lol*

Next week I aim to walk three times. Our challenge has officially ended but we have started some really good new habits (or should I say, we have retured to our old good habits) so we will continue to eat this way as much as possible with a bit more flexibility.

That will do from me for now...

Hope you all have lovely weekends!

(Note: Since writing this post I have recieved a couple of comments about how many pts I should be having- saying 32 pts might be too much for me.. Just for the record, I have been following the WW points system for 4 years and it has worked so far- It got me to goal! WW recommends 32 pts for breastfeeding mums feeding as frequently as I do no matter their weight so I I feel like this has been a good amount for me... by the way.. just hopped back on the scales remembering my memory function and discovered I have lost 1% body fat this week.
So 32 pts looks about right.)


Ash
xox